Bookkeeping & Accounting Differences

They have recovered nicely, however, with economists forecasting job growth of 13% through 2022 for the broader field of accounting, which includes bookkeeping. Bookkeepers often get paid hourly wages rather than annual salaries.

Top 8 Differences between Bookkeeping and Accounting

There are a lot of tools out there, and I have feelings about all of them as a financial nerd. I use bookkeeping YNAB with my clients (scratching your head about how this would work? I’ve got a workshop for that).

Abbreviations used in bookkeeping

One of the tools that you will use quite a bit is a document sharing program. Another tool that will make your life a whole lot easier is using practice management software.

In general, the start-up costs for a ledger account business can be fairly low if you work out of a home office as opposed to leasing office space, which we will discuss in the next section. The experts say that you should always have at least six months’ worth of expenses in the bank.

Each employer will have different policies or methods for conducting work, so it is important that bookkeepers learn how the work is performed. Accountants in Practice study for one of the main four UK Chartered Accountancy Institutes. Note that some tasks can be performed by both the bookkeeper and the accountant. Your accountant can help you figure out how much to pay quarterly, or you can pay an amount based on what you’ve made in that quarter. If you underpay, or pay late, you’ll get a fine – but more than that, you’ll have to put aside even more per month because you’ll be playing catch up, and that’s going to wreak havoc on your cash flow.


I know people who like Quickbooks Online (and a lot that don’t). For the every so busy small business owner, finding the time and energy to properly maintain your books can be a taxing and arduous task. In fact, a TD Bank survey which polled over 500 U.S. small business owners, discovered that bookkeeping is their most hated, with the next most hated task falling a whopping 24% behind. Needless to say, you are not alone if you don’t enjoy categorizing transactions. And no task (even if simple) is “easy” when you not only don’t like doing it, but hate it.

Choose Flatworld Solutions for Hassle-free Bookkeeping and Accounting Services

For more information on the right insurance coverage, check out our article on Bookkeeper, Accountant, and CPA Insurance. As a bookkeeper, you may need to get certain retained earnings liability protection in case you make a mistake on your client’s books. This insurance can help protect you in the event you get sued for that mistake.

Should I Become a Certified Bookkeeper?

One of the fastest ways to gain credibility with potential clients is to prove that you have the credentials to do bookkeeping work. If you are a CPA, then you have already demonstrated that you possess the knowledge and skills to perform the duties required of a bookkeeper, and you can proceed to the second step. After being hired, employers often provide an extensive job training process with new bookkeepers. Paired up with an experienced bookkeeper, new employees will observe work policies and learn how to perform the necessary operations associated with bookkeeping.

Can I learn QuickBooks on my own?

You file your accounts with Companies House and your Company Tax Return with HM Revenue and Customs ( HMRC ). You may be able to file them together if you have a private limited company that does not need an auditor.

  • In most cases, private companies do not pay more than the Big Four for young accountants with little experience.
  • As receptionist at Interescent, assisted with regular payroll accounting.
  • There’s no better time to check out Bookkeeper Launch and get started on your next successful career.

What Tax Experience Does a Bookkeeper and an Accountant have?


Because SmartService integrates with QuickBooks, this time tracking info transfers to QuickBooks to make it easy to accurately populate hourly pay stubs for your employees. As a small business owner, you can’t collect money unless you know how to create and send invoices. Forget about using hand-written invoices; it’s too easy to lose those sheets of paper and nearly impossible to index them by more than one parameter. On the other hand, when you create digital invoices with QuickBooks, you can look them up by date, service type, customer name, and any other data.

The average wage for someone new to the business is around $19-20 per hour. This is the equivalent of around $40,000 per year, assuming a 40-hour workweek.

Given a lot of free time, many (not all) business owners are more than capable of doing their own bookkeeping. But business owners often wear multiple hats and need to perform a list of high level tasks for their business to run properly. Smart Service® is designed for use with QuickBooks® Pro, Premier, Enterprise, and Online software only. With the Smart Service mobile app, your employees can track their time for each client.

In most cases, private companies do not pay more than the Big Four for young accountants with little experience. Mid-size and small public accounting firms pay, on average, about 10% less than the Big Four. If you choose to work for a company internally instead of doing public accounting, the starting salary range is very broad. Public accounting generally pays the most to a candidate right out of school.

A chartered accountant (CA) designation is a credential granted to accounting professionals in countries around the world outside of the United States. Like most fields, accounting and bookkeeping suffered contraction during The Great Recession.

If you expect to have net profit of more than a few thousand dollars a year, you’ll need to pay quarterly federal income taxes. A good rule of thumb is to pay 30% of your net income (revenue, minus expenses, but not excluding your own pay or taxes paid). Your accountant can tell you if this is a good number for you, as it depends on a lot of factors like your income level, incorporation type, and household makeup. First things first, (OK, second, after the breathing), is to get somewhere to put all of this.

Whether you operate a sole proprietorship or a large company, keeping tidy financial records makes it much easier to file your taxes each spring. You also need to track invoices and payments in order to handle potential client disputes, issue refunds, and understand how to budget effectively for the next year. Digital records make it easier than ever to store, manage, and analyze your records.

This type of software can help you to organize and track the progress of client work that you and your team are working on. If considering QuickBooks Online vs Xero, you’ll find they both have practice management software. There are a number of benefits to being certified, but my favorite is the listing on the Find-A-ProAdvisor site. There are millions of small businesses that use this website to locate a QuickBooks Pro in their area who they can hire to help them with QuickBooks.

Without proper insurance protection, a legitimate lawsuit could cripple or close down your prepaid expenses business due to the amount of money you’d have to pay out to both your client and lawyers to defend yourself. One of the most important things that you can do is to separate your business finances from your personal finances. While most people think they should wait until the business starts to generate cash flow, I would disagree with that. It’s much easier to establish a business checking account now, before the cash starts to roll in. Take a look at our How to Become a Certified Bookkeeper guide for all of the details on the requirements, cost and certification exams.


Can a bookkeeper do tax returns?

To be a bookkeeper, you need a high school diploma. Certification will then demonstrate your knowledge and skills in the field. You need two years of experience to be eligible for certification. You also should have math and basic computer skills, along with being detail-oriented.

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